Raila Odinga bigraphy, stories - Former Prime Minister of Kenya 2008–2013

Raila Odinga : biography

7 January 1945 -

Raila Amollo Odinga (born 7 January 1945), also popularly known to his supporters as Agwambo, is a Kenyan politician who was Prime Minister of Kenya, leading a coalition government, from 2008 to 2013. Odinga, who was first elected as the Member of Parliament for Langata in 1992, served as Minister of Energy from 2001 to 2002 and as Minister of Roads, Public Works, and Housing from 2003 to 2005. He was the main opposition candidate in the 2007 presidential election. Following a violent post-electoral crisis, Odinga took office as Prime Minister in April 2008, serving as supervisor of a national unity coalition government. He came in second in Kenya's 2013 presidential elections after garnering 5,340,546 votes which represented 43.28% of the total votes cast.. Reuters. Retrieved on 10 April 2013.

Odinga is the son of the first Vice President of Kenya, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga; Raila's brother, Oburu Odinga, is also currently a Member of Parliament (MP). The family's origin in Kenya's Luo tribe has been a key to their political activity. Raila is commonly known by his first name due to coincidence: he was an MP at the same time as his father between 1992 and 1994, and is currently in the House with Oburu. Raila was a presidential contender in the 1997 elections, coming third after President Daniel arap Moi of KANU and Mwai Kibaki, the former president of Kenya and then a member of the Democratic Party. Odinga campaigned to run for president in the December 2007 elections on an Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) ticket.

On 1 September 2007, Raila Odinga was elected as the presidential candidate of the ODM. He garnered significant support in the 2007 General Election, with majority of the votes in Rift Valley, Western, his native Nyanza, Coast, Nairobi (Capital) and North Eastern provinces. Kibaki led in his native Central province and beat Raila in Eastern province. Out of the 2007 elections, his party, ODM, got 99 out of 210 seats in the parliament, making the ODM the single largest party in parliament.

On 30 December 2007, the chairman of the Kenyan election commission declared Raila's opponent, incumbent president Kibaki, the winner of the presidential election by a margin of about 230,000 votes. Raila disputed the results, alleging fraud by the election commission but refused to adhere to the constitutional procedure and present an election petition before the courts. Most opinion polls had speculated that Odinga would defeat president Kibaki. Independent international observers have since stated that the poll was marred by irregularities favouring both PNU and ODM, especially at the final vote tallying stages., Daily Nation, 18 January 2008. Many ODM supporters across the country rioted against the announced election results.


Raila was placed under house arrest for seven months after evidence pointing to himself and his late father Oginga Odinga collaborating with the plotters of a failed coup attempt against President Daniel arap Moi in 1982, where hundreds of Kenya citizens, thousands of rebels soldiers died. Several foreigners lost their lives too. Raila was later charged with treason and detained without trial for six years.Human rights Watch, 1992:

A biography released in July 2006 indicated that Raila was far more involved in the attempted coup than he had previously claimed. After its publication, some MPs called for Raila to be arrested and charged,The Standard, 17 July 2006: but the statute of limitations had already passed and, since the information was contained in a biography, Raila could not be said to have openly confessed his involvement.The Standard, 21 July 2006: His mother died in 1984, but it took the prison wardens two months to inform him of her death.

Released on 6 February 1988, he was rearrested in September 1988 for his involvement with human rights and pro-democracy activistsUniversity of Pennsylvania, African Studies Centre, East Africa Living Encyclopedia: pressing for multi-party democracy in Kenya, which was then a one-party state. To his political followers, he is also referred as "Agwambo", the meaning of which is difficult to specify, or "Jakom", meaning Chairman.

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